Alfons Haider | Austria | Dance | News | Reality TV

Watch: Austrian TV Host Alfons Haider Dances with Male Partner on 'Dancing with the Stars'


Gay Austrian TV host Alfons Haider, who announced back in January that he'd be dancing with a male partner in that country's version of Dancing with the Stars, has been the topic of much discussion since hitting the dance floor on TV.

This weekend he danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to a rendition of "Respect" with his 23-year-old pro dance partner Vadim Garbuzov.

According to Austria's, there's quite a bit of controversy surrounding his decision. In a poll, 44% of Austrians support Haider's choice to dance with a man, while 42% oppose it. Women are more favorable toward the couplings.

Back when Haider made his decision, he told press: "I am going to dance with a heterosexual. This is not about being gay. I do not want my appearance on the show to be reduced to homosexuality. This is about the show, about entertainment. I am not the gay Joan of Arc."

Haider, you may recall, was said to provide the inspiration for Sacha Baron Cohen's tv reporter character Bruno.

Watch Haider , AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Argh. I really wish this had been good, but the lack of lifts killed it for me. I feel like they barely interacted at all.

    Posted by: Andrew W | Mar 21, 2011 9:38:20 AM

  2. "I am going to dance with a heterosexual. This is not about being gay."

    So, it's just about "men who dance with men"? I'm a big fan of gender-role free dancing, but a lot of the dances on this show require a sexual heat between the dancers, and when that happens, yeah, it will be gay.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Mar 21, 2011 9:46:45 AM

  3. "reduced to homosexuality"?!? Darling, surely you mean ELEVATED to homosexuality.

    Posted by: RATBASTARD | Mar 21, 2011 10:09:24 AM

  4. sooo faggoty!!

    Posted by: Dormish | Mar 21, 2011 10:10:38 AM

  5. Unfortunately being ridiculous is usually/sometimes/often a part of being human.

    Posted by: Barry | Mar 21, 2011 10:11:09 AM

  6. ......but he can't dance very well.

    Posted by: Samhraid | Mar 21, 2011 10:50:49 AM

  7. It strikes me that a heterosexual man who is secure in his sexuality need not feel threatened by two men dancing together.

    If he does feel threatened, then something isn't quite as solid and secure in his make-up as he'd like to pretend it is.

    Posted by: Panthera | Mar 21, 2011 10:54:19 AM

  8. same sex ballroom dancing can be fun and sexy, sometimes very sexy. sytycd has flirted with it on a couple of different national shows, notably australia. even dwts has had male dancers interacting, be it ever so briefly. the tango especially lends itself to male male dancing. only the rumba is a hard sell, unless you leave the eroticism in and go with it.

    Posted by: jack | Mar 21, 2011 11:24:29 AM

  9. First of all, of course men don't like it, most men are insecure in their identities. Secondly, Austria is a pretty conservative country so I respect what Mr. Haider is doing here. Same-sex dancing is totally doable if everyone just puts aside any homophobia and dances, it can be very sexy and a different feel to the usual thing. Hopefully he does well.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 21, 2011 11:34:39 AM

  10. I am thrilled that they have the opportunity to dance together...thrilled. That said, I am not self-hating, etc. but I have trouble watching it without giggling and turning away. Don't know why. Men dancing together is HOT! Men doing ballroom...not so much.

    Posted by: Boomer | Mar 21, 2011 12:03:04 PM

  11. As many have mentioned, same sex dancing doesn't need to be about being gay, and no, it doesn't have to necessarily be about sexual tension. My favorite same sex couple are a couple of brothers who dance the tango. They're straight, yet it's sexy to watch them:

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Mar 21, 2011 12:05:04 PM

  12. "but I have trouble watching it without giggling and turning away. Don't know why."

    Maybe the bad choreography and bad dancing? The silly leaps and poses? 90% of that cha-cha-cha they were apart, not really dancing together as a couple.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Mar 21, 2011 12:19:05 PM

  13. God you lot are so high maintenance and difficult-to-please at times.

    I saw it and thought, great - another step towards equality. Well done.

    Yes it wasn't that good a dance in places, but so what - he's a politician not a professional dancer. The guy deserves credit for doing this.

    Posted by: Tom Stoppard | Mar 21, 2011 12:35:49 PM

  14. So much for the myth of gay men and great taste.

    Which I guess is fine... that particular stereotype is no more positive than claiming "all black folks got rhythm."

    Oh well, it'll get christofascists gibbering and shrieking like monkeys in a fire drill, and that's always fun to watch.

    Posted by: Bryan | Mar 21, 2011 12:51:22 PM

  15. Tom Stoppard, Alfons Haider is not a politician. He is an actor, singer and talk show host. Of course he's not a professional dancer, that is the nature of these "Dancing with the Stars" shows. Another key part of these shows is that judges and the audience assess the quality of dancing, so why can't we?

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Mar 21, 2011 12:57:54 PM

  16. Yeah, it's a pity the dancing wasn't good or intimate or even a bit physical....

    Austria may be a conservative country but is male male dancing all that radical? Wow !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 21, 2011 1:24:47 PM

  17. It must be really frustrating to be a professional ballroom dancer. Years and years of practice, all aimed at the faint hope of someday appearing on PBS with Sandy Whats-her-name during Pledge Week, and all of that swept away by yet another cheesy version of Dancing with the Incompetents.

    It's like replacing the Olympic Decathlon with Sack-Racing with the Stars.

    Posted by: BobN | Mar 21, 2011 2:07:04 PM

  18. The dance wasn't very romantic or sexual so I don't see the controversy. I wonder if the American edition of the show will ever have a male dancing couple...

    Posted by: jaragon | Mar 21, 2011 6:21:50 PM

  19. That's not even cha cha cha...

    Posted by: Ricardo | Mar 21, 2011 6:46:49 PM

  20. I'm from Austria and I even met Mr. Haider some years ago (ok, over 20 years ago - I'm old!), when he wasn't so famous and not yet out. He was totally nice and it seems he still is. He outed himself, because he was close to getting outed. His mother was attacked because of this. It was in the end of the 90ies.

    But all the same: he did musicals and could do better than this. I think he and his dance-partner have to warm up a little bit. I'm also sure he is quite aware that this will be watched wordwide and I really hope they start to dance more "together" and less like musical number.

    BTW: he also moderated the show in prior years and one year he was juror. He also moderates our cheesy "Opbernball" every year!

    Posted by: coexxi | Mar 21, 2011 7:40:37 PM

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